Blaster Certificate Training and Experience
Blaster Certificate Training
The applicant for certification must have received on-the-job training, completed a training course, and obtained satisfactory evidence of having completed classroom training. The training should include diverse mix of blasting products, blast design, field experiences, blast monitoring and regulatory issues, some of these are listed in Table 1 below.
- Table 1. Potential on-the-job Training Activities
On-the-Job Training Activities List Blast site management Adverse affects control (seismology, acoustics, fumes) Different explosives products Blasting seismograph use Different initiation systems Calculations Blast design Flyrock control Site preparation Record keeping Borehole loading Regulations Geology evaluation Public Relations Blast plan development Software use Blast area determination Importance of spatial relations Inventory tracking Blast record completion Blast hole drilling Crew training Recognizing unique conditions Handle misfires Explosives storage Safety procedures Explosive transportation Preblast surveys
On-The-Job Training (experience)
Success of the applicant is strongly dependent on the level and quality of on-the-job training provided by another certified blaster, i.e. the mentor. Without this valuable guidance the applicant will not adequately learn the technical nuances and safety protocols of the trade. An apprentice that obtains a wide variety of experiences in many geologic conditions has the best chance of passing the examination.
Classroom Training and Duration
The blaster must have adequate classroom training along with the hands-on experience. Classroom training should cover the technical aspects of blasting operations and State and Federal laws governing the storage, transportation and use of explosives, including the topics specified in Table 2 below. In order to cover all the subjects listed in Table 2, sufficient time should be given to present the course material and to allow the students to have enough time to practice solving problems. Considering the wide range of topics to be covered, a minimum 32-hour classroom training session over the course of many weeks is recommended. The OSMRE Blaster’s Training Modules are available to help applicants prepare for formal training and testing.
- Table 2. Classroom training topics, examination subjects and question distribution
30 CFR 850.13 Subject Technical Regulatory 1(i) Explosives – selection of type to be used 3 1(ii) Explosives – determination of the properties which will produce desired results at an acceptable level of risk 3 1(iii) Explosives – handling, transportation, and storage 2 2(i) Blast designs – geologic and topographic considerations 5 2(ii) Blast designs – design of a blast hole, with critical dimensions 8 2(iii) Blast designs – pattern design, field layout, and timing of blast holes 6 2(iv) Blast designs – field applications 8 3 Loading blastholes, including priming and boostering 5 4 Initiation systems and blasting machines 6 5 Blasting vibrations, airblast, and flyrock 3 5(i) Blasting vibrations, airblast, and flyrock – monitoring techniques 3 5(ii) Blasting vibrations, airblast, and flyrock – methods to control adverse affects 7 6 Secondary blasting applications 1 7 Current Federal and State rules applicable to the use of explosives 3 8 Blast records 7 9 Schedules 2 10 Preblasting surveys 1 10(i) Preblasting surveys – availability 1 10(ii) Preblasting surveys – coverage 1 10(iii) Preblasting surveys – use of in blast design 2 11 Blast-plan requirements 5 12 Certification and training 1 13 Signs, warning signals, and site control 4 14. Unpredictable hazard including Lightening, Stray currents, Radio waves and Misfires 3 Total 63 27 Percent 70 30
Available Classroom Training Classes
Training classes are available from explosive suppliers, universities, professional organizations, consultants and states. Blasting apprentices should select training that enhances their technical skills and provides the information necessary to pass the examination. The fundamental training programs are available with individual vendors, explosives manufacturers or blasting service providers.
Scholastic training opportunities include:
- Bridge Valley Community and Technical College in Montgomery, West Virginia that offers an Associate in Applied Science degree in Blasting Technology
- Fleming College in Ontario, Canada offers a Blasting Techniques certificate
- Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri offers degrees in Explosives Engineering
Blasters loading a hole
The applicant must demonstrate that the appropriate level of experience was obtained within the 3 years prior to certificate application. OSMRE will accept as equivalent all experience gained in activities (see Table 1 above) which reasonably approximate the environment, procedures, blast size, and hazards of surface coal mining. This experience must be obtained by working with explosives or within activities associated with explosives use either inside or outside the coal industry. The necessary amount of experience depends on the type of certificate application.
- Issuance - worked for 2 years in any capacities as listed in Table 1 (above).
- Reissuance or renewal - worked for 1 year in any capacities as listed in Table 1 (above).